U.S.-China Manufacturing Symposium Meet and Greet
by Bridget Spencer
Dothan welcomes Chinese visitors with a "meet and greet" at the Wiregrass Museum of Art. Dozens of potential business partners attended to become acquainted with one another.
Chinese guests were greeted with flowers upon their arrival. The event is bringing people not only from China. People from 42 communities and six different states will also be in attendance.
"It's not just because of Dothan. It's regional, it's national. I hope this will be a small spot for movement to connect people," said Ray Cheng, CEO of Sozo Group.
The manufacturing symposium lasts until Friday Mar. 28.
Dothan Welcomes Chinese Leaders
by Victoria Rosa
Local businesses are preparing for the US- China Symposium and making sure they feel welcomed.
Several local businesses around the Wiregrass have changed their signs to Chinese in attempt to make the visitors feel welcomed and show Dothan's southern hospitality.
They hope the gesture will make Chinese leaders want to bring jobs to the Wiregrass.
Sidney Rittenberg Profile - China Relations Expert
By: Jessica Leicht
93 year old Sidney Rittenberg has lived a long life.
It all started in Charleston, South Carolina.
He says it's his roots that showed him the similarities between China and the southern U.S.
"When I first got to China in the U.S. Army in 1945, I really felt in many ways it was like coming home. In many ways the Chinese are very much like us, strong family ties, strong respect for learning and love for children,” Rittenberg said.
Rittenberg lived in China for more than 40-years, working closely with the People's Republic of China.
He believes the U.S. China Manufacturing Symposium has the potential to improve cultural military and economic relationships between the two countries.
"There's no conflicts of interest that can't be adjusted and overcome. We have different views and ways but the things we share in common are much more important," Rittenberg said.
Rittenberg says in the past 93 years he's learned there are two things you need for success.
"The first is respect, that doesn't mean you have to agree on everything but when you disagree do it with respect. The other thing is patience. It's going to take a lot of patience," Rittenberg said.
Rittenberg says although it won't happen overnight, once the wiregrass sees one or two successful projects and experience working with the Chinese, doors will open.
"This place can become a lighthouse for all these 13 states. It will help us to learn to live together and work out our issues, political, military and so on," Rittenberg said.
Rittenberg and his wife own a consulting firm that assists U.S. businesses that work with Chinese companies.